Tampa Bay Rays MiLB Recap: Spencer Moran Tosses 5 No-Hit IP


Chris Archer was pretty good for the Tampa Bay Rays yesterday, but he could only manage a 1-hitter. It was quite fitting that there was a no-hit bid happening elsewhere in the system, with Spencer Moran leading the way.

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Triple-A International League: Durham Bulls 9, Toledo Mud Hens (DET) 1

This wasn’t quite a 17-run outburst like Wednesday (just wait until the Montgomery game), but the Bulls managed to roll once again. J.P. Arencibia went 2 for 5 with a homer and 4 RBI, Mikie Mahtook went 4 for 5 with a double, a stolen base, 2 RBI, and 3 runs scored, and both Taylor Motter and Ryan Brett went 3 for 4 with a double. Motter added a double, a walk, a stolen base, an RBI, and 2 runs scored while Brett simply scored once. Mahtook has played much better since his latest demotion to Triple-A, hitting to a .288/.351/.462 line, and he could see regular time against lefties for the Rays in September.

Richie Shaffer and Joey Butler also had multi-hit games, but let’s move onto the pitchers. Bradin Hagens was solid again, allowing 1 run on 4 hits in 5 innings of work. Both his strikeout to walk ratio and his groundout to flyout ratio were 6-3. Robert Zarate then tossed a perfect inning with a strikeout–great to see him finally pitch well after 3 rough appearances to begin his bullpen tenure–before Jhan Marinez and Kirby Yates also worked shutout ball in their innings. Then Parker Markel made his Triple-A debut and worked a 1-2-3 inning with a strikeout.

Double-A Southern League: Montgomery Biscuits 17, Tennessee Smokies (CHC) 4

Daniel Robertson entered this game with just a .244/.347/.293 line in 49 plate appearances since returning from his broken hamate bone, although his 7-7 strikeout to walk ratio was a good sign. This game was a bigger positive. Robertson had his first truly great performance since the injury, going 4 for 6 with a homer, 2 doubles, 4 RBI, and 4 runs scored. It was Robertson’s third 4-hit game of the season but his first since May 12th, and hopefully it is the start of a run of more extended success to conclude the year.

Another huge game came from Cameron Seitzer, who went 3 for 5 with a homer, 2 doubles, a walk, 5 RBI, and 3 runs scored. Seitzer’s numbers have finally been excellent in his third try at Double-A as he is hitting to a .311/.387/.480 line, but it took him so long that he needs to prove that he can be more than a Triple-A veteran. Justin O’Conner also went 3 for 4 with a walk, 2 RBI, and 2 runs scored. O’Conner extended his hitting streak to 13 games, although he’s hitting to just a .268/.293/.429 line in that span. Other multi-hit games from Patrick Leonard, Dayron Varona, and Johnny Field.

There was also some pitching in this game, believe it or not. Taylor Guerrieri started and was excellent, tossing 5 innings giving up 1 run on 3 hits, striking out 4 while walking none. His groundout to flyout ratio was an outstanding 9-1. Guerrieri only needed 62 pitches to get that far–next year, when the training wheels will be off, will be a lot of fun. Ryne Stanek followed with 2 shutout relief innings getting past a hit before Kyle McPherson finished the game in rocky fashion.

High-A Florida State League: Jupiter Hammerheads (MIA) 3, Charlotte Stone Crabs 1

Let’s just say that Brent Honeywell has figured out High-A. In this game, Honeywell didn’t have wipeout stuff but still tossed 6 innings allowing 1 run on 4 hits, striking out 2 while walking 1. His groundout to flyout ratio was 9-3. Since surrendering 11 runs in his first 8.1 Stone Crabs innings, Honeywell has pitched to a 2.17 ERA and a 40-8 strikeout to walk ratio in 45.2 frames. The Tampa Bay Rays could do what they did with Blake Snell this season and start Honeywell back at High-A next year, but they won’t be able to keep him at the level for long.

After he tossed 2 shutout relief innings, Mike Franco let up a pair of runs in the ninth to give Jupiter the lead. Isaac Gil finished the game by recording 2 outs. Offensively, Granden Goetzman went 2 for 3 with a double, a walk, and a run, Willy Adames went 2 for 4 with a stolen base, and Jace Conrad went 1 for 3 with a steal. You have now heard about all of Charlotte’s hits.

Low-A Midwest League: Bowling Green Hot Rods 7, Fort Wayne TinCaps (SDP) 4

Cade Gotta hit ZERO home runs in 172 plate appearances for the Hudson Valley Renegades, so of course he goes off for 2 homers in his seventh Low-A game. He was very much the difference in this one as he went 2 for 4 with those 2 blasts and 4 RBI. Gotta is off to a great start with the Hot Rods, hitting to a .423/.444/.808 line with 4 doubles, 2 homers, and 6 RBI in 27 plate appearances. He just turned 24, but he has enough tools that he can’t be counted out entirely.

Thomas Milone also went 3 for 4 with a double and 2 runs while Alec Sole had a 1-for-3 evening with a double and 2 RBI. Riley Unroe, Coty Blanchard, and Mac James also went 1 for 3. On the mound, meanwhile, Henry Centeno tossed 6.1 innings allowing 3 runs, 1 earned, on 4 hits, striking out 3 while walking 2. His groundout to flyout ratio was an unbelievably good 14-1. Kyle Bird then tossed 1.2 scoreless innings before Luis Urena‘s tough start at full-season ball continued as he allowed another run in an inning.

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Short Season-A New York-Penn League: Connecticut Tigers 6, Hudson Valley Renegades 1

Cameron Varga didn’t have a great start, allowing 4 runs on 5 hits in 5 innings, although he did strike out 6 while walking none. Tomas Michelson then gave up 2 more runs in his inning before Cristopher Crisostomo and Brandon Koch were great to end the game. Crisostomo tossed a perfect inning before Koch gave up just 1 hit in 2 innings while striking out 4. It’s tough to argue with Koch’s 36-3 strikeout to walk ratio in 24.1 frames. At the plate, Joe McCarthy went 2 for 3 with a walk while Angel Moreno went 2 for 4.

Advanced Rookie Appalachian League: Princeton Rays 5, Bristol Pirates 1

Spencer Moran has shown some encouraging signs in his second professional season, none more encouraging than his performance in this game. Moran delivered 5 no-hit innings, striking out 4 while walking 1. On the season, Moran is 3-0 with a 3.07 ERA, striking out 38 while walking just 12 in 41 innings. He stands out the most for his projection at 6’6″, 180, and the real question is where his velocity is at right now, but strong numbers are always nice and with more work in the weight room, he could turn into a very good pitcher.

Andrew Woeck kept the no-hitter going with a perfect sixth inning, striking out 2, before Noel Rodriguez allowed a run and actually let Bristol tie the game. Moran couldn’t get a win for his efforts. At least the P-Rays won the game as Rodriguez and then Ty Jackson tossed shutout ball and the offense came together. Bill Pujols went 2 for 4 with 2 doubles and 3 RBI, David Rodriguez went 2 for 4 with 2 runs scored, Kewby Meyer went 2 for 4 with a run, and both Angel Perez and Zac Law went 1 for 3, with Perez driving in a run and scoring another.

Next: Tampa Bay Rays Game 121: Chris Archer at His Very Best